Witness the miraculous parting of the sea, Jindo Miracle Sea Festival on March 20-23

by Korea Toruism Organization
Korea Toruism Organization

Jindo Miracle Sea Festival, which is set to kick off on March 20th and continue until March 23rd, 2015, is a unique event where people can witness the Korean version of Moses’ miracle. The venue of the festival, Hoedong Village, has an interesting story behind its origin. Legend has it that Jindo was once an island abundant with tigers. When the tigers began invading the local villages, people fled to the nearby Modo Island. Unfortunately, Grandmother Ppong was left behind. Wanting to see her family again, she prayed to the Dragon King of the sea every day until finally, the Dragon King answered her prayers by making a path appear between Hoedong Village and Modo Island. This path later became known as the miracle sea path and thus began the annual tradition of the Jindo Miracle Sea Festival.

Major Festival Programs

The parting of the sea
Extreme low tides cause the sea to miraculously part, revealing a 2.8-kilometer long pathway across the sea floor. During the one-hour period when the strip of land, about 40 meters wide, becomes visible, many visitors and locals walk on the path and dig around for clams, crabs and seaweed.

For those who wish to make the most of their time at the festival, it is recommended to bring your own rubber boots or buy a pair at the festival venue, which are available for 10,000 won (as of 2015). Wearing rubber boots makes it easy for you to enjoy the festival without having to worry about runining your shoes or stumbling over the sticky mud on the pathway.

The Jindo festival is special for not only offering a unique and wondrous natural sight to behold, but also attractions abounding in culture and originality. The festival’s side events include a folklore music concert, various street performances and artistic exhibitions. In addition, be sure to try the delicacies only found during the event period along with freshly caught sea foods prepared to your order!

Estimated low tide schedule for 2015’s event

Jindo Dog Show & Jindo Hongju (traditional red liquor)
At the festival, visitors can watch a dog show featuring the Korean Jindo Dog, a breed known to have originated from Jindo Island. Jindo dogs are well known for their unwavering loyalty, obedience and exceptional homing instincts. During the show, the Jindo dogs demonstrate their ability to follow orders, run errands, and perform impressive stunts.

Jindo Hongju is a traditional liquor made with a mixture of steamed barley, rice and nuruk yeast, a traditional starter. After 10-15 days of fermentation, the mixture is placed in a cauldron and heated to about 60 degrees Celsius. The resulting liquor is then passed through sliced roots of jicho (a perennial plant known for its medicinal properties), which gives the drink its distinct red color. Though it has an alcohol content exceeding 40%, it possesses a mild taste and subtle fragrance. Festival-goers can sample Jindo Hongju either straight or in a cocktail drink.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Ullimsanbang House
Ullimsanbang House is regarded as the foundation of paintings produced by Jindo’s great painters. It is a studio where the master painter of Namjonghwa* (the Southern School of Chinese painting) worked during the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). His style of art was passed down through generations and Ullimsanbang gained popularity due to the achievements of his descendants, which represent the history of modern painting in Korea. It is said that the place’s peaceful atmosphere and romantic scenery gave the artists inspiration for their work.

Ullimsanbang was also one of the filming locations for the movie Scandal (2003). Visitors to Ullimsanbang can take a direct bus from Jindo Bus Terminal, running 5 times a day. The trip only takes about 15 to 20 minutes; however, as the bus is the only available transportation to and from the house, checking the schedule ahead of your journey is recommended.

*Namjonghwa (the Southern School of Chinese painting) is a style of painting, most commonly of landscapes, used by scholars. Namjonghwa painters worked with ink and focused on expressive brushstrokes to cultivate a more intimate style of landscape.

Ssanggyesa Temple
Located next to Ullimsanbang House is Ssanggyesa Temple, the oldest existing temple in Jindo.
The temple was named Ssanggye (twin streams) because of the two streams that flow along both sides of the temple. Behind the temple is a dense forest stretching across a three-acre plot of land containing over 50 types of trees. Temple visitors can write down wishes and blessings on traditional roof tiles by making a small donation. These tiles will later be used by the temple when the roof is in need of repair.

Recommended Jindo Specialties

Deumbukguk and Yukhoe Bibimbap
Jindo has an abundance of fresh seafood thanks to its location close to a clean coastal environment. For this reason, there are countless restaurants specializing in seafood dishes. One popular dish is deumbukguk, a light soup made with beef, deumbugi (Pelvetia siliquosa, or brown seaweed), and clams. Deumbugi is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-diabetic properties. A bowl of deumbukguk costs around 10,000 won.

Yukhoe bibimbap, or beef tartare bibimbap, is bibimbap topped with seasoned raw beef. The dish uses hanu beef, a high-grade beef derived from native Korean cattle. Since yukhoe uses raw beef, it is essential that the beef be as fresh as possible. There is also a cooked beef version of this dish for those who do not feel comfortable eating raw meat. A bowl of yukhoe bibimbap costs around 10,000 won.

More Info

Jindo Miracle Sea Festival

☞ Period: March 20-23, 2015
☞ Venue: Jindo Mysterious Sea Route
☞ Transportation: (Seoul -> Jindo) Take an intercity bus from Central City Bus Terminal (Seoul Honam Line) bound for Jindo Bus Terminal (first bus at 07:35, last bus at 17:35 / 4 routes per day / total travel time: approx. 5 hours / fare: 23,200-34,000 won).
☞ Admission: 5,000 won (Payment method: cash only / the ticket can be used like cash at booths inside of the festival venue.)
☞ Jindo Miracle Sea Festival: miraclesea.jindo.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese)
☞ Jindo County Tourism and Culture: tour.jindo.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Inquiries: +82-61-540-3403 (English) / +82-61-540-3408 (Japanese) / 09:00-18:00
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Korea Tourism Organization website

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